Wine pairing for vegetarian 3-bean chili
I’ll Drink To That By Bill St. John, Special to The Denver Post
The familiar wine pairing rules that go “red with red” and “white with white” are about meat, fowl or fish. No surprise that vegetarians feel that the food-and-wine matchmaker has long left them behind. But for true success when pairing wine, rather than attend to the base protein, always see how much fat, salt and sweetness are in the dish as a whole. This delicious stew of tomatoes and beans will taste even more delicious with crisp, low tannin, moderately alcoholic red and white wines that both clean up after its vegetable fats and temper its salt and acidity (those tomatoes).
HERE’S THE DISH
From “The Simple Art of Eating Well Cookbook,” by Jessie Price
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 large onion, diced, and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until very soft and just beginning to brown. Add 4 cloves garlic, minced, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin powder and K teaspoon cayenne powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 1 28-ounce canned crushed tomatoes and 3 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped, and three 15-ounce cans beans, one each, all rinsed: dark red kidney beans, small white beans, and black beans. Add 3 cups water and K teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Increase heat to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili has reduced slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
AND PAIR IT WITH
Sauvignon blanc is a sure-fire match for most vegetable-based dishes, especially if its acidity is to the fore. The grape grows in most every winemaking region of the globe, but those from cooler districts tend to have greater acidity. Some examples are the Loire’s Sancerre (and many other white Touraine wines); sauvignon blanc from South Africa’s Western Cape; white wines labeled simply “Sauvignon” from northern Italy; and some from cooler vineyards along California’s coast. Warm-weather sauvignon blanc may be tasty but they also tend to have lower acidity and might poorly match the tomatoes’ abundant acidity.
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili.